Socialist Appeal / International Marxist Tendency


Similarly reactionary was the position of Alan Woods’ Socialist Appeal/International Marxist Tendency which operates since 1964 (until 1991 as part of the CWI) as a left opposition inside the social democratic Labour Party. Like the CWI the SA/IMT in its leaflet mixed together and presented as an identical thing the resistance against the police, the looting of Tesco, Aldi etc and the few incidents of burning houses. It went even further in its use of reactionary terminology than the CWI and compared the uprising with “cancer”:


Do Marxists condone rioting, looting and vandalism? No, of course we do not. We do not condone cancer, either. But as everybody knows, it is not enough to condemn cancer. It is necessary to discover its causes and find a cure. We reject rioting and looting utterly.” (27)


Again we see the denunciatory lumping together of the fight against the police, destruction of gambling clubs, looting of super-markets and vandalism against homes and cars. This is what the bourgeois media, the government etc. already do massively. What a shame that so-called Marxists help them in arguing similarly!


No, comrades of the IMT leadership, the cancer is not the riots but the Labour bureaucrats and their left fig leaves that disorganise and obstruct the struggle against the cuts. The youth, the poor, the nationally and racially oppressed are not part of the problem (the cancer) but they are part of the solution. They can be a decisive force to revitalize the workers movement, to bring in a revolutionary spirit and to build a revolutionary party.


As with the CWI the IMT condemnation of the Uprising is related with their refusal of the violent class struggle, their reformist conception of the peaceful transformation of the capitalist state and the illusionary hope that the labour bureaucrats could overcome their petty-bourgeois essence and become servants of the working class:


A peaceful transformation of society would be entirely possible if the trade union and reformist leaders were prepared to use the colossal power in their hands to change society. If the workers leaders did not do this, then there could be rivers of blood, and this would entirely be the responsibility of the reformist leaders.“ (28)


And like the CWI the IMT too believes that the bourgeois parliament could become a vehicle for socialist transformation. Their leader Alan Woods claims that Portugal – in fact an example of the impossibility to utilise the state apparatus for socialism – in 1974 is a good example for his reformist theory:


Under these circumstances, there is not the slightest question, not only that the revolution in Portugal could have been carried out peacefully, but that it could have been done through parliament.” (29)


No surprise that the IMT also dreams the dream of the police as “workers in uniform”.



(27)         The leaflet is a summary of the longer article of Alan Woods with the same title, published on 9.8.2011,


(28)         Alan Woods: Marxism and the State, December 2008,


(29)         Alan Woods: Marxism and the State, December 2008,


Previous: SP and CWI

Next: Alliance for Workers Liberty